With social media, you have the power to reach your target audience. But if you navigate each platform to the best of its capabilities, you'll be able to engage your audience with the message you're aiming to get across. According to Wyzowl, 69% of viewers prefer to watch a video when learning about a product or service. Additionally, Statista has reported that 85% of the internet audience watches videos on any device. What better way to engage your audience than with video?
The tricky thing is, social media video length limits exist.
When you have a time limit for your videos, show your value as quickly as you can. Each social media platform serves its own purpose, so make sure you're planning, filming, and editing your videos to best fit the format corresponding to the channel you want to use.
Here's what you need to know about each social media platform and its video time limits, size, and formats.
As the OG photo-sharing app, Instagram used to have pretty strict limits on video length, but it's been pushing video pretty hard over the last few years. And that means creators can make longer Instagram videos across all their different video formats:
- Instagram Newsfeed videos: 10-minute limit
- Instagram Stories: up to 60-seconds
- Instagram Reels: up to 90-seconds (your choice of 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds)
- Instagram Live: up to 60 minutes
For all Instagram videos, you can upload a video that’s up to 4GB. Instagram has rolled out their Reels merge update, meaning that all new videos posted to the Instagram Feed (both regular and carousel videos) will be published as Reels. That's why we recommend a 9:16 aspect ratio for any video you want to post on Instagram now. 1080 x 1920 (or 9:16 aspect ratio) will be the correct size for any Instagram Stories, Reels, and Live videos.
The (relatively) new kid on the block, TikTok has been keeping every other social media platform on its toes and is largely responsible for the explosion of the vertical video format on the social scene lately. So, what are the limitations when it comes to posting videos to TikTok?
- TikTok Videos: up to 10 min for certain creators (your choice of 15s, 60s, 3min, or 10min)
- TikTok Live: No hard limit given by TikTok, but they recommend no longer than 30 minutes. If you're streaming with your TikTok Stream Key, though, you can take that recommendation with a grain of salt as video game streams are generally expected to be longer.
- TikTok Stories: Up to 3min (your choice of 15s, 60s, or 3min); only last for 24 hr
Like Meta's copycat, TikTok is all about vertical video. While you can repurpose horizontal content for TikTok, it's best to use videos that 1080 x 1920 to make the most of that 9:16 aspect ratio. The file size for your TikToks depends on what device you're using. If you have an Android, you can upload videos up to 72MB large. If you're an iOS user, you have up to 287MB to play around with.
The Twitter video length limit used to be 30 seconds. Now, it's 140 seconds (2 min 20 sec). If needed, you can upload a video for up to 10 minutes by using Twitter Media Studio.
The ideal Twitter video ad specs for landscape videos are 1280 x 720 pixels, portrait at 720 x 1280 pixels, and square at 720 x 720 pixels. This is important when deciding how you want to present your video–keep in mind that most videos are viewed on mobile than on desktop. Additionally, you can upload a video that’s up to 512MB.
The Facebook video length limit for both ads and posts is less than 240min (4 hours). The ideal video length for Facebook native videos is at least 3 minutes. For a video ad, Facebook has reported that 47% of the value in a video is seen in the first 3 seconds of your advertisement. In short, get your message across. Fast.
For Facebook video ads and posts, you can upload a video up to 10GB. Your ideal video resolution and size should be 1280 x 720 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 1200 x 628 pixels. It is also recommended that your Facebook video format should be MP4.
The LinkedIn video length for native videos is 10 minutes and the time limit for LinkedIn ad videos is 30 minutes. It is recommended for native videos to be around 3 minutes long and advertisement videos to be 15-30 seconds.
For both LinkedIn ads and video, the ideal size is 1080 x 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Your video size limit for this platform is 75MB to 5GB.
Optimizing Your Videos Across Platforms
Each social media platform serves a different purpose, so be sure to consider the features of each and identify your target audience when optimizing your videos.
Here are some overall tips to optimize your videos:
Use captions for social video.
Facebook has reported that 85% of their video views per day have the sound off and view videos with the captions on. Not only are you making your video convenient for those who don't have their headphones or are in a noisy environment, but you are also providing accessibility for those who have hearing disabilities.
Show value. Quickly.
Our attention spans have decreased tremendously from 12 seconds in 2000 to only 8 seconds– this is one second less than a goldfish's. Keep in mind that for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a view is counted after 3 seconds. Although you'll have a view after 3 seconds, make sure you hook your audience to engage and stay throughout the rest of your video.
Optimize for the Specific Platform.
We're all for working smarter, not harder. If you have one piece of great content, there's no reason you shouldn't repurpose that video and post it multiple social media channels.
But even though it seems like we're approaching a day and age where all social media platforms feel the same (vertical video is king, everyone's riding TikTok's coattails, etc.), the truth is that not all platforms display content the same way. Plan ahead by using a safe zones filter to make sure all your content is visible before you publish.
You can do this using the Kapwing Safe Zones tool. Open your video project in Kapwing and select the social media platform you're planning to post to under the "Show Safe Zones" options within the left side Edit menu.
The filter will overlay a transparent mock up of the user interface for TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, or all of the above.
With the safe zones filter on, you can move around text and image assets to make sure they won't be cut off once published.
Depending on where your target audience is, meet them on their social media platform and engage with them through your videos. Now that you've got the video length limit for each platform under your belt, you're ready to get started!
If you want to become an expert on each social media platform and learn more about how to optimize your videos, head over to our YouTube channel. For more tips on creating engaging content that will engage your audience, find more articles and tutorials at the Kapwing Resources page.
- How to Add Subtitles to a LinkedIn Video
- How to Add Captions to a Twitter Video
- How to Post a Long Video on Instagram: Feed, Live, IGTV
- How to Auto-Subtitle a Video